Struggling to remember what to flush down the toilet?

It’s easy. Nothing should go down the loo apart from toilet paper, pee and poo. Cleaning and shower products also safe to use.

The network of pipes underneath your house are not designed to carry anything else. Yet, other culprits such as cotton buds, wet wipes, paper towel, tissues and toys always make their way into our wastewater system.

Once down the drain, they clump together and cause serious blockages. This can force the waste back up our pipes and flood into homes and gardens.

Learn more about what happens at our wastewater treatment plants.

Even worse than a poo fountain at home... is if these items end up on our beaches. Our beautiful wildlife then ingest the cotton bud sticks and other sewage related litter, mistaking it for food. It's so important we all stop and think before we flush to keep our oceans clean.

Safe ways to dispose of waste

Not sure how to dispose of other waste products? We have put together a list of the usual suspects to help keep our waterways healthy.

Baby sitting by toilet on the floor playing with toilet paper

Cotton buds, tissues and wet wipes aren't flushable

These items do not disintegrate like toilet paper. Don’t even think about putting them anywhere near your loo. The same goes for paper towel which is also not made to break up in water. It’s about time you got a bathroom bin and made sure these unflushables are always placed inside.

Read a transcript of this video

Nappies and sanitary products

Save the poor plumber the task of fishing these nasties out of your drain by wrapping them up and placing in the bin. The same goes for razors and syringes.

Food scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves

Always keep a strainer in your sink to make sure scraps don’t make their way down the drain. Your collectables should be put into compost or straight in the bin.

Cooking fats and oils

Fats, oils and grease hardening in pipes cause 30% of our wastewater blockages. Play your part and follow these simple steps instead:

  • Remove grease and food scraps from your pots, pans and dishes before you wash them.
  • Seal kitchen grease into a container and place in a bin
  • Use a strainer in your kitchen sink to ensure these things don't get into the wastewater system.

Person in kitchen scraping food scraps from tray


Paint, cleaning products, fertiliser, pesticides or oils should not be poured down drains. Instead, give these to a licensed hazardous wastes contractor or contact your local council to see if they have hazardous waste drop offs at the local tip.

Engine oils

Take this kind of oil to your mechanic or oil recycling centre. Alternatively, contact your local tip for advice on the best way to dispose of the oil for your area.

Newspapers and plastics

These items should be recycled. Contact your local council to work out the best way to recycle plastics in your area. As Styrofoam items like egg cartons aren’t recyclable, you could also contact schools to see if they may want the stock for projects.

Unused medicines

Always return these to your pharmacy for safe disposal. 

Want to educate the rest of your family?

We've created a Think Before you Flush poster for your bathroom. What better way to learn than staring at a set of instructions stuck to the back of the toilet door!